Literary Element

Topics: ArtComedy

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Last updated: November 28, 2019

myth
a story, usually with supernatural significance, that explains origins of gods, heroes, or natural phenomena. Contain deep truths, esp, about nature of humankind

narrative poem
a poem that tells a story

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near/off/slant rhyme
imperfect of incomplete correspondence of end syllable sounds

onomatopoeia
words that imitate sounds

oxymoron
a figure of speech that combines two contradictory words, placed side by side (bitter sweet)

parable
a short story illustrating a moral or religious lesson

paradox
a statement or situation that at first seems impossible or oxymoronic, but which solves itself and reveals meaning.

parallelism
repeated use of the same grammatical structure in a sentence or a series of sentences. Emphasise what is said and underscores the meaning. / Two or more stories within a literary work that are told simultaneously and that reinforce one another.

parody
a comical imitation of a serious piece with the intent of ridiculing the author/work

pastoral
poem, play, story that celebrates and idealises the simple life of shepherds and shepherdesses. popular ’til 18th c.

/ Artistic work that portrays rural life in an idyllic or idealistic way

pathos
Quality which appeals to the readers’/viewers’ emotions (esp. pity, compassion, sympathy). Suffer though no fault of his or her own

periodic sentence
a sentence that delivers its point at the end; usually constructed as a subordinate clause followed by a main clause (Between space and earth I stood)

personification
the attribution of human characteristics to an inanimate obj. or to an animal

didactic
one in which the author’s primary purpose is to instruct, teach or moralise.

(story, speech, essay, play)

distortion
as exaggeration/ stretching of the truth to achieve a desired effect

enjambment
(Poetry) running over of a sentence from one verse or stanza into the next without stopping at the end of the first

epigram
a short clever poem with a witty turn of thought

epigraph
a brief quotation found at the beginning of a literary work. Reflective of theme

epiphany
eureka! a sudden flash of insight/ Dramatic realisation

epistolary novel
a novel in letter form written by 1+ characters. Can present varying 1-person POV and x need a narrator

essay
a short composition on 1 topic expressing view/interpretation of the writer on that topic. Oldest prose forms

euphemism
substitution of inoffensive word/phrase for harsh, offensive, embarrassing one. Sound better but usually more wordy (die -> pass away)

euphony
the quality of a pleasant/harmonious sound of a word(s) as an intended effect. Long vowels and some consonants (sh) (grey sea and the long black land)

farce
a kind of comedy that depends on exaggerated/improbable situations,physical disasters, sexual innuendo to amuse.

figurative language
uses figures of speech (metaphor, simile, metonymy, personification, hyperbole) to appeal to senses.

first person
a character in the story tells the story (I). Limited POV. Can only relate to event sees/told about

flashback
interruption of a narrative by the introduction of an earlier event/image of a past experience.

flat character
simple 1D character who remains the same.

May symbols of “types” of people, stereotypical characters

foil
a character whose contrasting personal characteristics draw attention to /enhance/ contrast with those of the main character. By displaying opposite traits, emph. certain aspects of another character

foreshadowing
hints at what is to come. Sometimes noticeable only in hindsight but sometimes noticeable enough

free verse
poetry w/o regular rhythm or rhyme

genre
category piece of writing can be classified.

each has own conventions and stds.

heroic couplet
(Poetry) a rhymed couplet in iambic pentameter

hubris
tragic flaw that leads to his/her downfall (insolence, arrogance, pride)

hyperbole
extreme exaggeration for literary effect. x meant to be interpreted literally

iambic pentameter
most common metric food in Eng-lit poetry (??*5)

imagery
anything that affects/appeals to readers’ senses

in medias res
(Lit) work that begins in the middle of the story

interior monologue
(poetry, prose) reveals unspoken thoughts/feelings. Direct or Narrator

internal rhyme
rhyme within a line, not end.

May be within 2 lines but more likely within line

inversion
a switch in the normal word order. Inverted Syntax. For emphasis or rhyme scheme

Italian(petrarchan) sonnet
14-line poem div. into 2 parts (8: abbaabba, 6:cdcdcd)

litotes
negative understatement. opposite of hyperbole

lyric poem
a fairly short, emotionally expressive poem that expresses the feelings and observations of a single speaker

metamorphosis
a radical change in a character. Physical or emotional

metaphor
one thing is another thing.

Not just that one is like

meter
rhythmical patter of a poem. Eng. potty uses 5 basic metric foot

metonymy
a figure of speech that replaces name of sth with a word/phrase closely associated with it. similar to synecdoche (white house -> president/presidency)

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